The anti-choice movement, which is on a constant rise in Poland, is currently acting against sexuality education in Poland. The Committee for Legislative Initiative ‘Stop Pedophilia’ aims to, according to its leaders, ‘protect children from depravation of so-called sex educators’.
The Committee convinces that Poland is threatened by gender ideology and depraving sexuality education provided with the use of WHO document ‘Standards of sexuality education in Europe’, which was published in Polish last year. The organizers of the campaign claim that the standards give only technical information on sex and contain instructions on teaching children how to masturbate, hence the Polish government shouldn’t support the model of sexuality education proposed in the WHO document. What’s more, the campaign attacks non-profit organizations providing sexuality education by accusing educators of sexualizing children and promoting pedophilia. The Committee also spreads homophobic messages relating to sexuality education, claiming that sex educators ‘promote homosexuality’ and tend to encourage children to try different kinds of sexuality orientations and relationships. Homosexuality is also treated on the same grounds as pedophilia – in some Polish cities there are banners of the campaign with information that LGBT people rape their children.
The legislative proposal prepared as part of ‘Stop Pedophilia’ campaign would extend the article 200 of Polish Criminal Code (regarding the age of consent) with the two paragraphs: persons publicly promoting or approving activities of pedophilic nature would be punished with amercement, restriction of liberty or imprisonment. The same punishment would apply to persons who publicly popularize sexual activity of adolescents below the age of consent or enable them means to do so. According to leaders of the initiative, sexuality education proposed by WHO and provided by non-profit organizations is actually encouraging children to have sex. Polish NGOs working for comprehensive sexuality education are mentioned in the justification of the initiative as the threat to children’s development.
The project collected 250 thousand signatures and it was proposed to Polish parliament as citizens legislative initiative. It’s predicted that the first reading of the project will take place in September. The campaign has been criticized in media by academics and activists as homophobic and distorting the real role of sexuality education.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza daily (Polish only)